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http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/tree/browse_frm/thread/75a152deee0d04b3/ca5b49649e91d80a?rnum=111&q=tdtone&_done=%2Fgroup%2Ftalk.origins%2Fbrowse_frm%2Fthread%2F75a152deee0d04b3%2Fe4809175522ebd17%3Flnk%3Dgst%26q%3Dtdtone%26#doc_1aca804e45070d4f

http://www.tdtone.org/darwin/Darwin1.htm
DARWIN'S GREAT TAUTOLOGY
DISCUSSION OF TWO FATAL DEFECTS IN HIS THEORY OF EVOLUTION
~~~~ THE DOUBTING THOMAS LOOKS AT DARWINIAN EVOLUTION ~~~~

Pub. May, 1997
rev. November 19, 2001
Tech.rev. Dec. 12, 2005

Note to readers: The refinement and completion of the arguments begun
on this page in 1997 has now been published, and is to be found at
another location. It is a more detailed refutation of Darwin's theory
than is found here. The terms "natural selection" and "survival of the
fittest" are further analyzed and shown to be erroneous as an
explanation for evolution. You may go there at any time by clicking on
the following link: CLICK HERE

For the latest and most illuminating look at the term "Natural
Selection", see how it works when applied to an economy ("Economic
Darwinism"):CLICK HERE

To get back here, click on the "Back" button of your browser.)

Note that this page uses the "down/back" reference system: to get
to the reference simply "click" on the superscript ( ); to get back to
the original place, click "back".

PREFACE

As noted on the Index page, for the last 150 years, the most popular
explanation for the diversity of living things in the universe (except
for Biblical creation) was Darwin's theory of evolution, often
explained as "survival of the fittest". Darwin's theory has been
taught beginning with grade school, so that a 6 year old knows, or
should, that the giraffe neck is long allowing it to feed above the
other animals and thus survive when others cannot get food (in reality
an idea of Lamarck's). Evidence has been accumulating for years that
problems exist not only in this claim, but in other aspects of
Darwin's theory including the growing belief that it is only a clever
tautology, which explains nothing that we do not already know. This
page examines that aspect of Darwin's theory, and finding it lacking
in scientific basis, suggests that belief in Darwin's theory of
evolution must be largely a matter of faith.

ANALYSIS OF DARWIN'S THEORY

In all fairness to Darwin, he did not use the phrase "survival of the
fittest" (really Herbert Spencer's term, but adopted in later editions
of "Origins" due to objections from his contemporaries). The mechanism
he referred to was "natural selection". Darwin states:

"----I have called this principle, by which each slight
variation
(a), if useful, is preserved, by the term of natural selection-----".
(emphasis added)

Thus, selection by nature of one of a (varied) species (for survival)
is the explanation for evolution of that species. This statement is
equivalent to the conclusion reached by using the more popular term
"survival of the fittest". This latter description of the principle of
evolution must be considered a more straightforward term, and it is
not hard to understand why the term was not by used originally by
Darwin. Only two questions must be asked about the term "survival of
the fittest" to uncover it's true meaning. One question is "what are
the "fittest" and the other, how are the "fittest" chosen?"

The answer is much too simple and also much too revealing: the fittest
are those who survive (Period). Why are they the fittest? Because they
survived. But why did they survive? Because they are the fittest.
That's all we know about them. The same answer applies to the more
obscure phrase, (survival or "preservation") by "natural selection":
the types that have been selected by nature are those who have
survived. Both arguments are tautological. Nothing is learned about
the real scientific cause of evolution or the origin of species by
learning that the population consists of survivors.

It also explains nothing that we don't already know about the world
around us. Yes, elephants have "survived". Yes, so have fleas, oak
trees, bacteria, etc.. In Darwin's terms, these species have been
selected. Quite obvious. They are here. What is the cause of their
differences? It is certainly not the fact that they have survived.

A TAUTOLOGY IS A TAUTOLOGY: THE TAUTOLOGY OF DARWIN

A tautology is defined as a series of statements that comprise an
argument, which statements are constructed in such a way that the
truth of the proposition is guaranteed. Consequently the statement
conveys no useful information regardless of it's length or complexity.
Thus, for a simple example, the statement "if you can't find something
(that you lost), you are not looking in the right place" is
tautological. It is also true, but conveys no useful information.
As a physical example, to play a game of darts where the dart board
was full of bullseyes, could be called a "tautological" game. You
can't lose. Any argument containing a tautological statement is thus
flawed logically and must be considered erroneous.

A tautological argument is not an argument; a tautological game is not
a game. (As an aside, a great many of the later, "more advanced" books
on evolution attempt to explain away this tautology by some beautiful,
highly complex, arguments; e.g. Mayr and or, Gould. Upon close
examination of these arguments it will be found that the conclusion is
usually obtained by a metaphysical "division by zero", like the well
known mathematical proof that 1 = 0. You will note that the bottom
line of all of these complex arguments is always the same, namely that
"natural selection is the cause of evolution".)

It should also be noted that some apologists for Darwinian logic claim
that mathematical equations such as f = ma, or e = mc2 could also be
termed tautologies. This is a faulted attempt to vindicate Darwinism
which could be termed "innocence by association"; in either case, [and
in every case of a mathematical expression] the terms on both sides of
the equation are defined elsewhere independently, and thus the equal
sign does not mean "is defined by" but rather {hate to say it} but is
equal to, thus establishing an equivalence. This equivalence may
establish a new "law", hitherto unknown. "Survival = fittest" defines
one term by the other: a tautology pure and simple. It must be kept in
mind that the requirement for evolution to occur, by definition, is
not a single function, rather two functions: (1.) is development of a
novel genome (phenotype), and (2.) is survival of the phenotype. For
evolution to occur, BOTH must happen. Strange as it may seem, a six
legged "horse", which might be an excellent animal, does not represent
evolution unless it can reproduce its lineage. This would be similar
to the production of a mule, which is considered a "cross", not
evolution. So survival, being an integral part of evolution, is
necessary for existence; what is new about this? How does this factor
become the "cause" of evolution?

But the greatest fallacy in the term "survival of the fittest" is the
fact that the word "fittest" has no precise meaning whatsoever. The
"survival" of an organism is dependent upon a vast permutation and
combination of conditions not understood by anyone; thus the word
cannot be defined and leaves the entire term devoid of the ability of
meaning and thus prediction.

"Survival" in nature starts with a different genome (phenotype) each
time and thus "survival" itself is different every time. No two
phenotypes have ever developed under exactly identical circumstances;
even eggs in the same nest have different positions, have been laid at
different times, are exposed to different amounts of heat, light and
other conditions. While it is true that the "new" genome would have
new characteristics, the conditions that it is subjected to may differ
substantially from the survival conditions of the first genome. It
either survives or doesn't, under a different, continually varying,
set of conditions. As is stated elsewhere on this site, the outcome of
the survival of an organism is unknown until the event occurs. (See,
e.g., the page referenced by "click here" at the top of this page.)
Again, how is this fact the "cause" of evolution?

A CLOSER LOOK AT NATURAL SELECTION

But let us assume, as a further test of the logic in Darwin's theory,
those who believe in creation are right. God created all the species,
perhaps all at once, or by some other method, "Theistic evolution"
perhaps. (Or, equally as effective for the purpose of argument, the
species came here as seeds from another planet = Panspermia works).

Now, virtually all scientists agree that about 1% of the total species
that have ever existed on the planet currently remain in existence.
Let us accept this figure for the purpose of argument. The question
then comes up, "why are only one percent of the species in existence
today"? A proper evolutionist answer is that those species that exist
today were picked by "natural selection" or "survival of the fittest",
using Darwin's own definition.

Therefore, Darwin's process of "natural selection" is not unique to
his theory, but operates under any and all circumstances that involve
an "origin" of a species, whether it be creation, Panspermia, or some
other process. Thus "survival by natural selection" or by selection of
the "fittest" once again has no effect on the "origin" of species, and
adds nothing by way of explanation to Darwin's theory. This objection
is valid whether it is applied to Darwin's original work (1859) or any
one of the myriad of variations of his theory, right up to the present
day.

But if the question is "what is responsible for the differences
between the separate species", we must discover what caused a viable
(as opposed to random) change to the cell or group of cells (genotype)
which gave rise to these new species, as well as why these changes
persisted. High school mathematics can prove that the time from the
assumed beginning of the universe (currently estimated at ~ 12 billion
years) is insufficient to produce even one viable new gene because of
the complexity of the process. Yet this process appears to have
occurred, and cannot be explained by science, using either "natural
selection" or "survival of the fittest" as a mechanism.(e) The only
current explanation of this process is a teleological one, and thus
outside the realm of science.

[To backup for a moment, it is instructive to compare the Creationist
explanation regarding "evolution". It is very simple and
straightforward: God created all the species. He is the cause of the
ordered variation which exists in the universe. "Natural selection",
or "survival of the fittest" can be considered to have determined
which of these species have survived to this day. There is no question
as to their origin. While no scientific proof is contained in this
statement, (or in Darwin's theory either) it is not a tautology.]

On the other hand, Darwin's theory offers as the "complete
explanation" for the order so apparent in evolution, the mechanism of
"natural selection" which is only an effect:< (b)
(they have survived!)(or they are the "fittest", or, they have been
chosen by "natural selection").

Natural selection (or survival of the fittest) must be recognized for
the true character of its mechanism: it is a completely random,
infinitely changing, "filtering/culture media" process where the end
result is the genome that survives (or prospers). Just as a filter/
culture media in a laboratory does not create anything, so it is with
Darwin's filter/culture, natural selection. Thus it is incapable of
being the cause of anything. The characteristics of organisms which
have existed on this planet are of course shaped by the "conditions of
life" (gravity, heat, etc.) that are found here; but to interpret this
obvious fact so as to consider it to be the "cause" of the "origin" of
that organism is erroneous; it is a classic example of "circular
reasoning". Thus it is a tautology.

{But the thread of logic used to arrive at this conclusion should not
be foreign to anyone associated in any way with Academia. Many
historians for example, treat history as, or at least imply, that
history is, a force. Just for the record, History is not a Force.
History is an explanation of a result or effect of some past
occurrence, but not a cause or force of anything. Alfred Russel
Wallace explains this all-too-common logic error in the quotation
below.}

CAUSE AND EFFECT - A BRIEF DISCUSSION

"We are like children [who are] looking at a complicated machine
of the reasons of whose construction they are ignorant, and like them
we constantly impute as causes what is really effect in our vain
attempts to explain what we will not confess that we cannot
understand." (em., [brackets], added).
Alfred Russel Wallace, Species Notebook, circa 1855.

Note that this entry was made prior to Wallace's earthshaking
"Ternate Paper" sent to Darwin in 1858. Wallace, racked by malarial
fever, concluded, in a state of delirium, that the process of "natural
selection" (not using this term) was the cause of evolution. After
emerging from it, he hastily wrote the paper and thus violated his own
admonition, above, having "found" the key explanation he had been
looking for, for so long . After reaching this decision, he never
looked back. Nothing, however, disputes the crystal clear thinking
which produced the above explanation which was made about 3 years
prior to writing the paper. Wallace is describing an all-to-common
human ability to engage in a logic error termed "logical reversal"
which will inevitably produce a cause/effect "reversal". As mentioned
elsewhere on this site, this is the basis for Darwinian error.

Natural selection is simply survival. In spite of the considerable
aura created by Darwin in his description of natural selection,
survival is the only essential ingredient in order to have any
organisms, in existence, anywhere, at all. No special characteristic
of the genome is required, other than the ability to adapt to the
extant conditions. On the Moon (d), no genome is capable of surviving
the effects of the environment, consequently there are no organisms on
the Moon. Likewise in a blast furnace, no genome can survive the
conditions. Deer can not live in urban conditions because of the
predation by dogs, etc., etc. If the genome has the ability to survive
the myriad of effects encountered by it, there will of course be an
organism which survives.

The "myriad of effects" faced by the genome, which must be adapted to
in order for any of this to occur, is what Darwin calls "natural
selection". Is it logical to say that natural selection (or anything)
is acting in these situations? On the other hand, if several species
(as defined by biologists) are capable of surviving on Earth, is it
proper to say that anything is acting on these species? Does rain act
on the corn to "cause" it to grow, or is the corn (the genome) merely
responding to one of many effects such as abundant phosphorous,
nitrogen, heat, light, or any other factor of the environment which is
necessary for it to survive. Darwin and Darwinists would have you
believe that the rain specifically occurs for the purpose of selecting
the corn; if this is so, what of the vast majority of the water which
runs away to the ocean? Under normal use of language and logic, we are
speaking of cause and effect. What is the cause of the survival?

The cause of survival is the fact that the genome, which is the only
thing capable of acting, either does or does not have the potential,
or capability to survive, under the conditions. (Please note no claim
that this is an earth-shaking conclusion: it is self-evident). One of
Darwin's fallacies is in giving natural selection a capability for
acting and thus treating it as a cause(c), rather than an effect which
is all that it can be. This is the most sophomoric of mistakes, a
cause/effect reversal. Wallace's quote, above, is correct and to the
point. Darwin has placed the cart before the horse. It must be
concluded that "evolution" if it exists at all, is caused and directed
by a biological characteristic of which we are currently ignorant.
Mankind does not know a cause of evolution. The conclusion that
evolution has occurred is an assumption.

Of course it follows from this understanding of the logic involved in
the process, as above, that natural selection can not be the cause of
evolution, as even eminent Darwinists such as Professor Ernst Mayr,
believe. In like manner, natural selection cannot be the cause of the
origin of species. Just as those who are interested in the cause of
the existence of the universe should be studying Physics/Astronomy,
those who wish to study the scientific cause (the origin) of species
would do well to spend their time studying microbiology/genes rather
than natural selection. A further reading of Alfred Russel Wallace
(Darwin's compatriot in his theory of evolution) would be also useful,
as Wallace believed the true "cause" of evolution was unknown and was,
in effect, created.(1)

It must be concluded that the real "cause" of evolution, would be the
mechanism which provides the change in the genome from which the
"selection" is made. Darwin's theory assumes that infinite variability
is present in the genome, and further that an "effect" (natural
selection, or survival of the fittest) can somehow enhance and develop
a wholly new characteristic. And while great strides have been made in
biological science since "Origins" was published there is still no
theory which explains, much less proves, the phenomenon of what is
called evolution.

CONCLUSION

Darwin's theory of Evolution contains 2 defects, either of which is
fatal to the theme:

* A claim that the "origin of species" is caused by "natural
selection" is a tautology.
* The cause of variation in a species cannot be determined, or
initiated, by an effect.

As might be expected, a fatally flawed theory does not work.(4)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Numbers ( ) refer to items on the Index Page

(a)Darwin's consideration of variation, in chapter 4 of his book
"Origins" as quoted above, is glossed over as a premise or a
"given" (an unstated assumption), and while the term "variation" is
used elsewhere in his "Origins" book, his heavy-handed emphasis on the
power of "natural selection" (which term is used some 350 times)
throughout the book is really what he uses in an attempt to prove the
theory. This technique is successful in that the inference of the
power of natural selection is so strong that the majority of books and
discussions which have been written on the subject of evolution term
his theory as "evolution by Natural Selection" or some equivalent
description.
It should be noted that the knowledge of genes, or the laws of
heredity, in his day were unknown and Darwin concluded, without any
real proof, that the possible variability of species was essentially
infinite. This is of course, simply a belief; thus, the conclusion
drawn from this belief, Evolution, is itself only a belief. back (a)

(b) This statement has been verified by a most unlikely source
composed mostly of pro-evolutionists, no less than the Talk.Origins
Archive. To my knowledge, this statement has been in the T. O. FAQ for
at least 1 year, and perhaps much longer. It is in a way comforting to
know that there is some agreement between those who are dedicated
evolutionists, and those who like the DT, are unconvinced of the
"fact" or methodology of evolution.

from the T. O. FAQ on Natural Selection:

"When selection is spoken of as a force, it often seems that it is
has a mind of its own; or as if it was nature personified. This most
often occurs when biologists are waxing poetic about selection. This
has no place in scientific discussions of evolution. Selection is not
a guided or cognizant entity; it is simply an effect." (all em.
added. Agreement by the DT is whole-hearted.)

from: "http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-
biology.html#natsel", from the paragraph "Common Misconceptions about
Selection" (copied 10/4/99)

Note that once this interpretation is made, the entire "power" of
Natural Selection disappears in a cloud of smoke, and those who have
depended on it as an explanation for the complexity and direction of
development of all living organisms are left with the same explanation
which has existed at least since 100 years prior to the Darwin/Wallace
theory, none at all.

While we are at it, note that evolutionists are merely "waxing
poetic" when skewing facts toward evolutionary theory; any
contradictions of it however, are "creationist" and are not allowed.
back (b)

(c)Another error Darwin makes is in giving natural selection the
capability of selecting, by his metaphoric use of the term. Natural
selection always makes the best (= wisest?) choice. Natural selection
is of course inanimate, and the only choices made, if any, are made by
the genome. Neither Darwin, nor any of the professors occupying
prestigious chairs in some of the worlds most important Universities,
Dogmatic Evolutionists(T) all, have been able to explain how, for but
one example, Natural Selection selected a large ear as a means of
cooling for the Elephant, while its contemporary in time, the Hippo,
was chosen by the same Natural Selection to essentially live in the
water to accomplish the same cooling requirement. Ditto for the
thousands of other cooling mechanisms which exist.
back (c)

(d) As an insight into the supposed powers of natural selection, one
might naturally ask at this point, is NS operating, right this very
instant, on the Moon? How about Mars, Uranus, Pluto, planets of Alpha
Centauri, and so forth. If the answer is "yes", why does not NS cause
species to be in existence at these places, as it has supposedly done
on this planet. Suppose your answer is "no", NS is not operating in
these places, and subsequently some obscure bacteria is discovered
(like ice, recently discovered on the Moon); does that mean that NS
really is operating there and has caused the evolution of that
species? What, then, is the real nature of NS? Those who are believers
in the phenomenon are quick to point out the effects of NS, but are
unable to explain exactly what NS is, or how it works or is the cause
of anything. Perhaps someone will kindly email the DT an explanation.
[Note to the reader]: this question was posed upon publication of this
page in May, 1997; after some three years, and over 10,000 accesses to
this site, not a single email has even suggested an explanation for
the mechanism of Natural Selection.
The DT is not the least bit surprised. There is no rational basis for
an action such as Natural Selection. It might have been no less
profitable to ask for the explanation of the existence of ghosts. back
(d)

(e) For example, during the relatively short time that humans (or
primates) have existed on this planet, it appears that three (3)
different types of Sickle Cell Anemia may have developed in the human
genome. (Keep in mind that while the fact that these three types
exist, there is no evidence that they have occurred during this brief
period; note however, that if you are an Evolutionist, you have little
choice but to believe otherwise.) The likelihood of this occurrence
is, under current scientific knowledge, 1/infinity, i.e., for even
theoretical purposes, impossible. back (e)

T Dogmatic Evolutionist: one who is as devout a believer in, and
defender of, the Theory of Evolution as is a Creationist with the
Bible. This distinction is made to separate the bona fide scientist
(who may believe in evolution in some form) from the dedicated
proselytizer of Darwinism. It turns out after an analysis such as the
above (and hundreds of similar arguments never refuted by the
Darwinists), that they are both using the same basis for their
beliefs: Faith. back (T)

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Sep 1, 2011, 11:23:17 AM9/1/11
to Tautology notes

http://evolvingthoughts.net/2011/04/pope-on-evolution-more-of-the-same-teleological-thinking/
The randomness that Dawkins discusses here is a lack of correlation
between process and outcome, as if God rolled dice and got humans.
Since he thinks that evolution is predominantly driven by selection,
and selection is a biassing against what would otherwise be the
preservation of every or any old mutation, he rightly thinks that sort
of evolution is not random. But in another sense, he and a great many
evolutionary biologists do think evolution is random: it is a lack of
foresight and correlation between mutations and fitness. This is a
different kind of randomness, and it is the kind that Catholic
thinkers have objected to since the Origin. Mivart wrote in the
Genesis of Species:

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Sep 6, 2011, 11:00:48 AM9/6/11
to Tautology notes
On Sep 1, 7:17 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/tree/browse_frm/thread/8f...

Wilkins wrote:

Moreover, "natural selection" is the *name* of a *theory*. The theory
has various fully syntactic formulations, usually verbal but
correctly
mathematical (and these have been posted oin this group many times,
usually by Howard Hershey). So when someone says "[Name] has not been
falsified" they are using, in a quite ordinary manner, the name as a
placeholder for that formulation.
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